Creative Peninsula set to attract thousands of arts and crafts enthusiasts this August

Artist Susanna Banks with Mayor of Ards and North Down Richard Smart ahead of August's Creative Peninsula festival

TICKETS are now on sale for Creative Peninsula, one of Northern Ireland's largest celebrations of art and craft.

Now in its 17th year, the event organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council, kicks off on Friday, August 3, at Conway Square, Newtownards, which will be transformed into a tented arts and crafts village for the day.

More than 30 artists and makers will display and sell their work, while there will also be free demonstrations, including 'throwing' on a potter's wheel, acrylic painting, pastels, printing, sculpting and wool spinning.

New to the programme for 2018 is the late-night art tour which departs from North Down Museum on Wednesday August 8.

Everyone on board the special late-night bus will have a chance to see how various artworks are created – and also sample some nibbles with a glass of wine or craft beer – during stop-offs at five selected Creative Peninsula open studios.

Featuring tours, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and more, Creative Peninsula is an ideal way to experience what the local art and craft industries have to offer, according to the Mayor of Ards and North Down Richard Smart.

"With over 20,000 attendees each year, Creative Peninsula has become one of the most inspirational creative festivals attracting people from all corners of Northern Ireland," he said. "We are very fortunate to have one of the largest concentrations of artists and craftspeople living and working here and, unsurprisingly, the area has a thriving creative industry."

Arts and heritage manger for Ards and North Down Emily Crawford said creativity was an important part of the the 'Blue: Green, Creatively Connected' strategy which was launched in the borough earlier this year.

"This strategy makes use of the borough's three particular strengths: our landscape, the creativity of our people and our proximity to places of opportunity," she said.

"We are delighted to have such a talented and skilled industry and to be able to play homage to this asset via the festival."

The 2018 Creative Peninsula brochure is available at, where tickets for bookable events are also available. Programmes are also available from from Ards Arts Centre and North Down Museum, and local visitor information centres.

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